ISOLATION SITE. Bus units carrying a total of 104 returning overseas Filipinos and overseas Filipino workers arrive at the Manila Covid-19 Field Hospital at the Quirino Grandstand grounds on Friday (Dec. 31, 2021). The facility will now be used to quarantine mild and asymptomatic Filipino Covid-19 patients who came from abroad. (Photo courtesy of Isko Moreno Domagoso Facebook)

MANILA – Returning overseas Filipinos (OFs) and overseas Filipino workers (OFWs) who will test positive for the coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19) will now be isolated and quarantined at the Manila Covid-19 Field Hospital.

A total of 104 OFs and OFWs who yielded positive results in their reverse transcription-polymerase chain reaction tests and have mild symptoms or asymptomatic were brought to the 344-bed Manila hospital for quarantine on Friday.

Department of Health (DOH) Secretary Francisco Duque III, vaccine czar, National Task Force Against Covid-19 chief Secretary Carlito Galvez Jr., Bureau of Quarantine (BOQ) Director Obet Salvador, and Manila Mayor Isko Moreno Domagoso witnessed the opening of the facility for OFs and OFWs.

Itong araw na ito ay importante sa BOQ at DOH dahil pina-unlakan tayo ni Mayor Isko na tanggapin 'yung mga OFW natin na nag positive, mild and asymptomatic, dito sa Manila quarantine facility. Sila na ang mag-shoulder ng lahat ng expenses hanggang sa maka-uwi sila (This day is very important for BOQ and DOH because Mayor Isko agreed to receive positive, mild and asymptomatic, OFWs in this quarantine facility. They will shoulder the expenses until they are allowed to go home),” Salvador said during the event.

Domagoso said the Manila Covid-19 Field Hospital was established at Rizal Park, a property of the national government, as part of the city's commitment in the fight against Covid-19.

Meron kaming commitment sa national government and sabi namin, ‘wag kayo mag-alala. Kung anuman ang tinatag namin sa property nyo ay siya naming pagagamit namin at ise-share namin para tulong tulong (We made a commitment to the national government. We told them that whatever we build in its property will be utilized and shared). This is a testament of our commitment to the national government in fighting this dreadful disease,” Domagoso said.

Duque said the city government of Taguig also made a similar commitment to help the national government by allowing their quarantine facilities to be utilized for the same purpose.

Currently, officials do not see the need yet to raise the quarantine classification of the National Capital Region (NCR) as it is still under low risk.

Depende sa bilis ng pagkapuno ng ating mga facilities and then we will do the necessary precaution. Gagamitin muna natin as a proxy indicator natin ‘yung worst-case scenario for Delta surge. Ang ating recommendation is manatili tayo sa Level 2 from January 1 to 15 (It depends on the utilization of our facilities. We will use as a proxy indicator the worst-case scenario for Delta surge. Our recommendation is to stay under Level 2 from January 1 to 15),” Duque said.

The current healthcare utilization rate in the NCR, according to Duque, is at 24 to 25 percent.

Ang health care utilization rate na ginagamit natin na panukatan is kung 50 to 59 percent. That’s low risk. Moderate natin is 60 to 69 percent, then from 70 to 84 percent that’s high risk, and Alert Level 5 mag-e-ECQ (enhanced community quarantine) kung lagpas ng 85 percent (The healthcare utilization rate we use is when it is at 50 to 59 percent. That's low risk, 60 to 69 percent is moderate, then 70 to 84 percent is high risk. We will go to Alert Level 5 and will have ECQ if it goes beyond 85 percent),” Duque said. (PNA)